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I Am American Business

Roger Staubach

Producer Notes

Why did we get to shoot at Texas Stadium? Why did security let us set-up on the field less than a week before the huge playoff game between the Cowboys and the Giants? Because we were shooting Roger Staubach, that’s why. Roger is a hero in Dallas. But he’s a humble guy in person. He showed up alone. “Who here’s a Giants fan?” he asked our New York based crew. We set up a shot in the visiting team’s tunnel from the locker room out to the field. “This is where Eli Manning will be walking on Sunday to start the biggest game of his career so far,” said Roger. He knows Eli and Peyton’s dad, NFL great, Archie Manning, and had watched both boys grow up. “And after the game, if they’ve lost, the team will be shuffling back up this tunnel. But if they’ve won, they’ll be hooting and hollering and banging their helmets against the walls.” Roger walked down through the tunnel and then, as if from long habit, broke into a run when he hit the field. He may be managing a giant commercial real-estate firm, but he’ll always be a football player first.

Video Interview

I'm Not the Same Person Off the Field
Is He Committed to Real Estate?
Hard Work Produces Confidence
Jerry Jones is Building a Fantastic Stadium
We Won Two and We Lost Two

The "I Am" Q&A

What kind of car do you drive?
I drive an Audi.

What’s your favorite place to go?
My favorite place to go is Horseshoe Bay Texas.

What was your worst moment in business?
My worst moment in business was probably in the eighties, being involved in some partnerships where we had joint liability and it seemed like I was the one that was the responsible person. So it was a very difficult period of time. It was outside the Staubach Company.

What’s your favorite drink?
My favorite drink is chocolate milk.

What’s your favorite food?
My favorite food is lasagna.

What’s your idea of fun?
My idea of fun is Marianne and I going out and having dinner, or maybe having just dinner at home, and having a little red wine and talking about the kids and grandkids, and just enjoying each other.

What’s your idea of fun at work?
At work, I really enjoy being at the presentation when we’re presenting to a customer, just knowing that here are these human beings committed to our company. So I really like being out in the field, being in on the presentations with our people.

What personal weaknesses do you forgive in someone?
I forgive people that don't listen at times, because that’s a weakness that I have. Sometimes, I’m so enthralled in something, I’m not listening to someone. So I forgive people, because I knew maybe they’re thinking about something else, and it’s a very bad quality that I have to work on, as far as making sure I listen to who I’m supposed to listen to.

What movie star do you like?
I guess one of my favorites is Jamie Foxx, just saw him in The Kingdom the other day. And from the female side, I really like Faith Hill. She’s not a movie star. I'm a country/western fan, so I like country/western music.

What other country/western stars do you like?
Faith Hill and Toby Keith are my favorites.

Who’s a business hero of yours?
A business hero would be Mr. Henry S. Miller, Jr. He was my mentor when I got started in the real estate business He’s a great man and very similar to Tom Landry. They both have the same haircuts. They didn’t have any hair. They both had a lot of similar qualities.

What personal qualities do you admire in business?
I think trust has to carry over even outside of business. It has to be consistent as a behavior. I think it’s a very serious part of your life, and I think it’s synonymous with integrity.

Are you doing anything “green?” Anything for the environment?
We built a new home and we’ve got a lot of things in there from the “green” side. So, from a personal Staubach family side, yes. Our company is very involved. We do a lot of project management. So we’re very involved in new green buildings. The environment is very important in real estate today.

What was your greatest moment in business?
My greatest moment in business was when I left Miller & Company. It was a sad day for me, because I loved the company, but to start my own company and to make that commitment… and it’s now thirty years and I'm glad I made that commitment.

Transcript

CNBC:
How did you get into real estate after football?

ROGER STAUBACH:
When my wife and I left the service in 1969 and joined the Dallas Cowboys, we had three little girls who were born in the Navy, so I wanted to work in the off-season. So I went to work for a real estate firm, the Henry S. Miller Company. And when I decided to start our business a couple years before I retired, we started to focus more on the tenant side.

CNBC:
How did you decide to focus on the tenant?

ROGER STAUBACH:
Well, when I was with the Miller Company, Xerox was moving their office products division here and we showed them some buildings that we represented and I felt maybe they didn't really like those buildings. And I felt, well, if we're just showing them our buildings we're really not giving them the whole market. Now, around the country, there a real estate firm in New York that was doing some tenant rep, but I didn't know about them at the time. So we started it in Dallas. I think we were at the forefront of working with the tenant and it became the, the, the heart and soul of the Staubach Company.

CNBC:
You have talked a lot about trust.

ROGER STAUBACH:
Well in our business, you've got to get your priorities right. You're working for a customer and you've got to get that trust. You have to get the trust internally and if you don't have it internally, you can't transfer it to the customer. So we have really required people to work together and to share information. So Working together, teamwork, has been a big part of my life and it's the key for us to be able to do the right thing for our customers also. Life is like an HOV lane. You've got goals, ambitions, you want to get there as fast as you can, but you have to take someone with you. And I feel the people that understand and respect someone other than themselves, they have that balance. So we emphasize a lot the balance that you have to have in your personal life and how that equates to trust and trusting each other.

CNBC:
How big is the Staubach Company?

ROGER STAUBACH:
We have about sixteen hundred people and about sixty-eight offices around the country. We have a partnership internationally, so we do work in Europe and Asia through a partnership.

CNBC:
So do you think this focus both on the tenant and on teamwork came out of your experience in football?

ROGER STAUBACH:
Well, teamwork has always been an important part of my life and team players are not just people that fall into step. They're really people that, that have a respect for someone other than themselves and also realize that you can't get to where you want to in life by going it alone. There's always someone that has influenced you, that has been there to help you achieve what you want to achieve in life. We touch the customer with so many different people—our design construction people, our finance people, our brokers and, lease administration—so we touch the customer a lot, in a lot of different ways and we won't have the repeat business, our customer will not come back to us unless we have that teamwork. And after thirty years, I really feel that the care that we have for each other and, and how we transfer that to the customer… well that's why I get up every day and I still work because I really feel we have that kind of behavior in our company.

CNBC:
So in what ways is football like business?

ROGER STAUBACH:
No matter what you do, you have to work hard at something. I learned that as an athlete, hard work produces confidence and you also have to realize that you can't do it by yourself. And I feel that I learned as an athlete, you can't quit. You get knocked down, you gotta pick yourself back up. And you can't cook the books, you can't give up on your faith, you can't blame somebody else. You just gotta continue to do the right thing and you can't compromise your values, cause you are gonna get knocked down and you're gonna face some difficulties. It takes time to take those qualities of an athlete and put them into business, but they're very formidable qualities, hard work, the teamwork, perseverance—and that's been at, at the foundation of my life and I learned a lot of that through athletics.

CNBC:
How do you feel when you see quarterbacks playing today?

ROGER STAUBACH:
I love to see, whether it's a Tom Brady or here-we've had Tony Romo in Dallas. He's a fierce competitor and the Mannings. You have to be able to have that confidence. You have to transfer that to your teammates… that we can do it. We have to all believe that. And the mental part of leadership, of being a quarterback, is so similar to business because you've gotta transfer your beliefs and the things you want your people to do and they have to believe and work together and that's how you come back. Because when you get knocked down in a football game, or you're behind, everybody's gotta say, Hey, we can do it. And the quarterback has gotta be instrumental in making sure that the team has that confidence. They can do it. They can come back and they can win.

CNBC:
How important is preparation?

ROGER STAUBACH:
I've always believed that you have to get prepared for anything you, you do and that's why I went to work in the off-season, too. I knew, some day, I was gonna have a life after football. But, I was a little motivated, too. We had three kids that were born in the Navy and we had two more in Dallas. I really prepared myself for football. I've always believed it takes a lot of unspectacular preparation to get spectacular results and you do have to be prepared. And, and I had a coach here, too, Tom Landry was an industrial engineer. He had goals that were outstanding, reasonable, believable, and achievable. They were measured, and one of his great strengths was preparation. When we went and played in a football game, we were prepared. We had a great game plan, but you have to add the emotion to it, too. When you get into a game and you have to execute. And in our business, being prepared for the customer, being able to understand all the issues and the strategy that goes into a real estate transaction are very similar to what it takes to get ready to play in a football game.

CNBC:
So what role does sports play in your life now?

ROGER STAUBACH:
Well I've learned that sports is a great outlet. I've really come to appreciate the fan by my own interest in sports, cause it's an outlet for me to watch teams, to watch games, to get away from those busy days you have and those challenges you have in other parts of your life. Sports is a great escape. To be able to just put yourself into a situation where you don't have to worry about your, the last business deal you were involved in or whatever it is. It's a great outlet.

CNBC:
Let's talk about winning in sports and business

ROGER STAUBACH:
We go out there and that's our job is to go out to win. Our children have been in sports and our grandkids are in sports, and you learn the ingredients of sports and you can handle the pressure as you get older and the stress of going out to win and to handle losing. If you lose a game, go out and get some ice cream, and have a good time and shake hands and do all those things. But as you continue to, get older and you get into college or high school/college/professional, winning becomes very important.. But it's gotta be put in perspective. But at the professional level, I stress all the time our, our goal as a company is to win the business and do the right thing and then the rewards will follow. And sometimes our business gets to be a "fee and me" business and it's all about the commission, it's about the money. So it's really getting your priorities right and I've always felt that winning is important, but you can get it out of balance, and it can work against you, if you're not careful.

CNBC:
And you recently won the Superbowl in 2011 to be played in the new stadium in Arlington?

ROGER STAUBACH:
The stadium we're in right now was built in 1971. I actually quarterbacked the first game against the Boston Patriots, which is now... Tom Brady's and Bill Belichick's team and it's the New England Patriots. But we won that first game and we had a good season that year. We went on and beat Miami in the Super Bowl. So this stadium's been here a long time. There's a lot of boxes in the stadium, so it's held its value through the years. Clint Murchison built this stadium and it was at the forefront of the luxury boxes. So the new stadium will be ready in 2009. At times you'll be able to seat a hundred thousand people in the stadium. It'll have a retractable roof and it's gonna be one fantastic stadium, one of the finest sports facilities in the world. And because of that, we were able to bid and compete for the Super Bowl in 2011. Jerry Jones is doing it first class. He's building a fantastic stadium and we'll have the Super Bowl here in 2011.

CNBC:
What was your role in getting the game for the new Arlington stadium?

ROGER STAUBACH:
Well, Jerry Jones asked me to be the Chairman of the bid committee. A lot of work had to be done to get ready for the bid. It's a massive undertaking. The NFL has got a lot of requirements. We had to respond to them. And then we had a chance to present our case in Nashville last May. So I was Chairman of the bid committee and we won the bid, and then I also have the responsibility to be Chairman of the host committee when we host the Super Bowl here in 2011. So it's a major undertaking. I'm looking forward to it. I'm very involved obviously, still, with the Staubach Company as Executive Chairman, but I'm gonna have a lot of fun being involved in a Super Bowl. I had to chance to quarterback four of them—and that's why I still have humility because we won two and lost two. If we would've won all four, I'd be a real arrogant guy. I'm trying to justify losing to the Steelers, but... we had the chance to play in some great Super Bowls and to be able to host one, and to give back to the NFL, cause no matter what football still defines our life, in a way, and it's defined, in a lot of ways, our business. People still relate and it's fun talking about the old days and going up in New York and talking to the Giant fans and the Redskin fans. So football's been a big part of my life, so giving back to the Super Bowl and hosting it, I'm really looking forward to it and, it'll be a lot of work, but should be a lot of fun also.

CNBC:
What did you say to the NFL?

ROGER STAUBACH:
I mentioned to the NFL—we, actually had about fifteen minutes to talk and I mentioned to them, when I was in the service, I was overseas listening to the first Super Bowl. I'm there at the Pensacola Naval Station watching Joe Namath win the big Super Bowl, when the Jets beat the Colts and I would have never dreamed I would have played in the Super Bowl. And so, I, I just mention how grateful I've been with the opportunities I've had as an athlete for eleven years with the Dallas Cowboys and I really wanted to give back to the NFL. We, we want to really enhance the value of the Super Bowl. And, I let the owners know that we were going to do everything we can, and we will make sure it's done right.

CNBC:
What does football mean to America?

ROGER STAUBACH:
I just think it's a great outlet. Football is a big part of American life, American culture. It's a week to week experience to anticipate the game and get ready for the playoffs.

CNBC:
Where is the new stadium?

ROGER STAUBACH:
The Super Bowl in 2011 will be coming to North Texas. It's gonna be a North Texas event. The stadium's out in Arlington. Arlington has done a fantastic job building a great stadium, so in 2011 this whole region is gonna be exposed to the Super Bowl. When we got the news that we won the bid to have the Super Bowl in North Texas we were all high fiving each other, cause the bid committee was made up of members from Arlington and Fort Worth and Dallas and, of course, the stadium is in Arlington, and they've done a fantastic job to build this stadium. This whole North Texas region is excited about making sure that we put on the best Super Bowl in the history of Super Bowls. The city of Arlington's got one fantastic stadium over there.

CNBC:
Real estate is a very competitive business. How do you maintain your standards of integrity throughout the company?

ROGER STAUBACH:
We're thirty years old as a company, and human beings are quirky as can be. But there's good quirky and bad quirky. The good quirky people truly have a balance, they, they, they not only take out of life, but they give back, there's love, care and concern. They, they good quirky people understand the evils of discrimination, they put themselves in other people's shoes, they understand the other side. The bad quirky people, it's all about them and when things are going well, they're fine. But when things are not, they're gonna stick it to you and you gotta get the bad quirky people out of making the decisions, being the leaders in the company, and that's what we work on all the time, to make the good quirky people—cause we are quirky, every one of us—we gotta make sure the good quirky people are running the show.

CNBC:
Can you just tell us again the size of the company?

ROGER STAUBACH:
The, the Staubach Company, we're thirty years old, we're a commercial real estate firm. We work in the areas of office, industrial and retail for facilities and we also do a lot of retail development. And we have about sixteen hundred people now and sixty eight offices.

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